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The Willis Report

News/Business. Host Gerri Willis.

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Detroit 9, Washington 9, Michigan 6, Us 6, New York City 4, Oklahoma 4, Ell 2, John Boehner 2, Cuomo 2, Nexium 2, Harry Reid 2, The City 2, City 2, Unitedhealthcare Insurance Company 2, Gaviscon 2, Wright 2, Obama 2, Mark Dayton 2, Manhattan 2, Ohio 2,
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  FOX Business    The Willis Report    News/Business.  
   Host Gerri Willis.  

    December 5, 2012
    9:00 - 10:00pm EST  

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thanks for watching. neil cavuto will be back tomorrow. former republican presidential candidate rick santorum. we have not seen him since the election. we have spoken about them, scene of you rumors about in. the new republican party. in answer, kinder party? we will find out. he will be on the job. have a good night. ♪is all the "mon" that we have for you. we found dnis kneale. "the willis report" is coming up next. gerri: tonight, the most outrageous ways that congress spends their money. wait until you hear what we have to say. welcome to "the willis report."
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hello, everybody. i am gerri willis. anher bailout from president obama. that is what some in detroit say they deserve for helping reelect their commander-in-chief. the city on the brink of financial collapse and will soon lay off thousands ofity workers to pay off bills. the total outstanding debt is more than a billn dollars. that is according to mdy's investor services. joann watson city councilmember, her comments are sparking controversy. she claims the president owes the city another bailout because they voted them into office. >> he went to washington dc and he came back home with some bacon. that is what you do. that is what you do. are people overwhelmingly supported him in the election.
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not just at, buthy not? gerri: quid pro quo, bring home the bacon. very controversial. we are going to have one out in just a moment. but first, it could be a day of reckoning lawmakers in michigan considering changing the status to a right to work state, giving workers the freedom to opt out of paying union dues. we have the abor policy director for the mackic center for labor policy. tell me what it is you're trying to do wi this legislation. >> there are rumors that michigan can become the 24th rights work state in the nation. he gives workers the ability to choose whether or not to pay a union and without rights or protections, they can actually get the worker fired in aunion if they choose not to gerri: i understand there are
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some five groups of unions to protest what you're trying to do. at you make of that? >> they are protesting what they think may be an imminent right to work bill introduced in michigan's capital in lansing. gerri:ets get what we always talk about on the show. that is the money. what difference will wright's work state make the people of michigan? how would it be different? this is a state that has been struggling for some time now. >> it has been struggling. it has been some of the worst in the nation. just looking at the statistics, the right to work states have bigger work and wage growth and
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if you count the cost of living, workers are making wright's work stes and they are more attractive to business. cnbc just release this top states for business 2012. nine out of the top 10 states were writes work. it reay helps the economy. gerri: or something suprising here. we have a comparison, brightwork state versus nonwhite work state. we jt showed weight increases by hiher then any nonwhite work state. how is that possible? >> what it does is a big open for busines sign to attract businesses to the state. lawmakers in the state are putting worke and job creators about special interests. and the know that they won't have to -- that the politicians
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won't be putting anyone else ahead of the jobs. gerri: job growth shrinking in the united states. it really does involve michigan. it's what happened with detroit auto workers. their jobs shrinking. they're definitely on the decline. other workers in the south. and there is a clear case study of the power of the work state -- the right to work states. not for those who employ people come up before the workers. >> that is right. the auto industry -- the american auto industry is actually coming back. buit's coming back in the right to work states where we have the very stringent right to work state. all the auto workers are making more than the uaw workers.
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especially those second-tier lower paid autoworkers. >> i know it's very controversial. and union members in particular are pushing back against it, saying it should be our freedom and organize if we want to. how you respond when? >> they still have the right to organize. the brightwork does not do anything to collective-bargaining except for taking the union's ability to get a worker fired. they can still bargain over wages and hours and working condions. right to work does not ban unions. it makes them stronger because now the union has to be accountable to their members and cannot take them for granted. gerri: i am sure many union members agree with you. we need some control and level
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playing field for workers. thank you forcoming on. if you get some kind of movement on that night, please let us know. we would love to report it. thank you for coming on and showing us these numbers. it's just amazing. thank you. joining me now, is jerry brown. welcome to the show. it is great to have you. we played this very controversial soundbite from this woman who said it hould be quid pro quo for dtrit. do you agree? >> no, i do not agree. i can look out my window and see general motors and see what happened with the bankruptcy when the federal governmt got involved. the cfo lost their jobs from the board of directors lost their jobs, and there are restrictions to the money coming in. so the feder government.
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the city of detroit knows what the problems are. the question is do we have the political will to make the difficult desio. gerri: that is where i want to go next. the track record here -- the track record here is not good. we have years of overspending. it is incredibly embarrassing stories, the previous mayor usinggan airplane at his own leisure to do personal travel. we have just a terrible financial track record. per capita income at 25,000 below the u.s. average. detroit employment is 18%, almost 19%. does the city council -- does the city management have it under control? have you guys just lost control? >> we certainly have it lost control. we have it under control. but we have our issues.
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but we are not falling off into the detroit river. the community is doing well. the business community, the corporate community and the city of detroit. we don't have any vacancie for new young people that are trying to move into the downtown area. certainly municipal governance is broken. we have to become a better partner with our business community to fix some of the ills of detroit. but we know what the solutions are. we know what the problems are. we have, as political leaders, the political will to make the tough decisions to write the financial ship and become a betterpartner to help the corporate business community of detroit. gerri: if you are doing such a good job, why have you lost 25% of your population over the past decade? i will repeat that because i know you have technical issues. but we couldn't help but notice in researching the sory that the city has lost 25% of its population. i have been there not that long ago.
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lots of people leaving. just can't seem to get the economy going. lots of efforts and a ton of help from the state of chicken. why can't you get this back on track? >> like every urban arean the country, we are suffering in the foreclosure. we live and die by operty taxes and sales taxes and they are all coming in shorter than anticipated. basically because the property values in troit. it is starting to pick up in michigan. we just need a little bit more time in der to get our financial house in order. in order to grow our economy. gerr i have heard that before. we need more time to get our fiscal house in order. woul't it make mor sense? i know that you are probably
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playing l kinds of different groups. all kis of different political groups who want to have their voice heard. wouldn't it make more sense to come in and have the state on this thing -- the thing that we will fix this thing and get it done. >> unfortunately, theycan't unilaterally change them. so the financial emergency manager coming into detroit, setting back a year. we just need to have the political will make these decisions and get it done. we have the political will to get it done. i don't want tsound like a broken record, but it is as simple as that. an emergcy manager can do yme than what we are doing right now with the tools that would be available to them. gerri: what was the first that they think you need to take?
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>> i don't know what. gerri: what is the single most important thing to fix the siation if you could? >> people are not moving into the city and they ar leaving the city because it is not perceived to be thi way. you wll have a way to educate kids. third, we have to be able to deliver an adequate lel of services for taxpayers and taxes paid. so that we can create an environment for businesses to create jobs. gerri: long-term talks about
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this. a long way to go. i wish would come he would come back and maybe we will have a conversation. i really appreciate yo coming on the show,hank you so much and i think you for having me. gerri: now we want to know what you think. banda gerriwillis.com, vote on the right-nd side of the screen. we have lots more in the show. twenty-six days until we fall off the fiscal cliff. is that what democrats want us to do? pictures seem so. we go live to capitol hill in 10 minutes. while ngress talked about wanting to cut excess spending, the nbers may tell a different story. i will break it down coming up next. you stl think you're colder than me?
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gerri: where would we be without senator tom coburn? without the oklahoma taxpayer dollars? this fellow brought us this image. your member this? the shrimp on on the treadmill. does anyone have? @%e national science foundation studying the effects on disease. they decided to do this, and they spend 500,000 taxpayer dollars doing this study. if you can get scieists to ste money, the senator is back with another study. this time uncoving waste of the department of homeland security. anthere was plenty of it. first, zombies apocalypse training. know, crazy. part of our homeland response.
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they were betrayed by actors who were gunned down by a milita unit. training occurred at a weeklong conference held at turner's point resort and spa. the cost worth the bargain of a thousand dollars. now we know how to protect ourselves from zombies. then there is columbus, ohio. an underwater robot. christ had a $98,000. the robot has a camera that provid a video this way to a vehicle on shore. i but i have to tell you that i don't know why, because columbus, ohio, the capital of ohio is wehrmacht. great lakes are up hre. officials declared emergency because of grant deadlines.
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not to be outdone, seattle and a remote control helicopter. not really an issue of national security, but there you have it. $41,000 for each one helicopter. by the way, one more thing. take a look at the cover of tom coburn's report. it's fantasy. how much you think you can't? crazy. okay, that's what taayer dollars can do. i could have done a lot more with a half-million dollars. >> coming up on "the willis report", obama ad the house republicans not letting on their fiscal cliff stands.
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gerri: is the writing on
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gerri: we are dangling over the fiscal cliff. but washington is at a standstill. although the president is refusing to sit downwn with republicans, he did ta to speaker john boehner this afternoon, and the white house is talking to federal agencies, warning them to get ready to go over the cliff. with more on this, congressman tommcclintock of califnia. a member of the budget coittee. if you for joining us today. you know, we heard about this telephone call between speaker boehner and the president. you think anything will come of that? >> the president has been very clear. he is hell-bent to raise taxes massively on those very wealthy folks made making over $250,000. bearer 80% of small businesses, in and exactly the time when we are depending on them to create two thirds of the new jobs in our country desperately needs.
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gerri: the republicans are in the way of a settlement. i want to hear what he said today. here is the president. >> we can probably solve this in a week. it is not that tough. but we need that conceptual breakthrough that says that we need to do a balanced plan. but that is what is best fo the economy. that is what the american people voted for and how we will get it on. gerri: what do you make of that? >> if the president gets his way and tax increases go into effect for all the small businesses, according to the congressional budget office, we lose about 200,000 jobs. according to ernst & young, it could be close to 700,00 american families thrown into unemployment. so there has to be a resolution to this impasse, otherwise, i think may be looking back on these times as the good olddays
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gerri: i started t interview by asking about the telephone exchange between the president and the speaker of the house. and i ask you whether you thought it would make any differen. you didn't really answer the question. but it's interesting that eric cantor call on the president today for another sitdown meeting, face-to-face. here is eric cantor. >> we want to sit down with the presidt. we want to talk specifics. we put enough on the table now. nothing is going on, meanwhile come the people of the country are the ones that suffer. gerri: i think he kes a good point. when can we sit down and have a conversation about how to solve the problem? >> to answer your question, there has to be action because the alternative is unthinkable. those negotiations are going
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right now, i am not privy to them. but it is clear to me that an impasse that raises everyo's taxes fothe president's apprch the cost is between 200 and 700,000 american jobs something that cannot be done. gerri: congressman, thank you for coming on tonight. we appreciate your time. >> my pleasure. gerri: coming up, republicans ask for another sitdown with the president and a handful of governors got the chance. oklahoma's mary fallin and e responses she got next [ male announcer ] if you're eligible for medicare, now is a good time to think about your options. are you looking for a plan that really ets your needs and your budget? as you probably know, medicare only covers about 80% of your part b medical expenses. the rest is up to you. so conder an aarp medicare supplement insurancelan,
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gerri: the federal government is trying to get our fiscal house in order. the states have a warning. do not ship thespending of our
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shoulders. that is exactly the message six of them delivered yesterday when they visited the white house on capitol hill, including republican governor mary fallin of oklahoma. i sat down with her earlier today and asked her if she got the response she was looking for a. >> we did meet with the president. the vice president. we had a meeting with harry reid and speaker john boehner. the executive board message was as youre dealing with tough decisions that have to be made, to make sure that we don't over the fiscal cliff, don't shift e burden downward. we understand that there is a shared sacrifice. we ask for flexibility when it comes to programs thatre funded by the federal government and federal monies. we needlex ability to be able to determine what is in the best interest of our state. how we can best serve the population. gerri: the truth is the states
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only have so much flex ability because you have to meet your budget. the federal govement doesn't. but i want to show who is in washington. it was scott walker, gary herbert, mark dayton, jack markell. all the leadership of the governors associatio what kind of response did you get? we are not passing anything onto you guys. >> the president was very cordial and respectful to the governors. and we believe that we have a stake in this process, and he felt like we could offer some ideas of ways that we could help with savings and efficiencies and state government and federal government also. but he also said that they would have to meet his goals and ideas. leader harry reid, he was more concerned that they were going to be able to reach some kind of an agreement avoid going off the
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fiscal cliff. gerri: how concerned are you? what would it mea if we read right over the ege? you believe that there will be some agreements by decembee 31? >> it is hard to ell. the house, the senate, the republicans, it's vey tough negotiitions up there. i will tell you that i did meet with my finance officer this morning. my budget director. we talked about comparing my state budget. we have to make our decisions within the next month. the state of oklahoma, it will cost to $700 million in so many things. if we got the fiscal cliff.
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gerri: withhe dense cuts come if we do over the cliff, it will cost $100 million or over that? >> 137 million. gerri: would this put you into the red? >> it certainly could. we are still looking at obama's health care plan and what it will do to the sta budget. the federal strings are tied. i asked the president about this. the federal funds that come down to the state as you may cuts -- we can still have the strength attached to it. it doesn't give leeway to meet your unique circumstances in our state. we are all different. different budgets,ifferent employment rates, different constitutions, different laws. different styles of living and
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means within our budget. give us some flexibility. gerri: i expect you to be a little bit more upbeat about the fiscal cliff, but i have to tell you, you sound like a lot of people in washington today. concerns over whether these leaders can get together and find common ground and resolve this issue. it would be meaningful to stay like yours. governor, thank you so much for coming on. >> thank you, gerri. gerri: it's not just politicians and ceos are worried about the fiscal cliff. even baseball players are worried. this man just signed a contract with the atlanta braves. this is something that the mbl rarely does. if upton gets paid one day
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later, he gets paid an additional $120,000 in taxes. he is not alone. his former tampa bay teammaae, signed an extension cable next week. o can blame them? it is like a tax revolt all over the place. if washington doesn't act fast, major league owners will be forced to shell out a lot of money.
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gerri: it is thi nation's symbol of strength and unity in the face of tragedy. the rebuilding of one world trade center. the massive building is nearing completion. but it hasn't reached this milestone without majo complications. especially for cmmuters and the city's transportation agency. with more on the government's misuse of 9/11 funds, we have the manhattan institute scholar and "new york post" columnist michael goodwin. welcome to you both. -icole, i'm going to start with you. you just read an article on this, and you have done a ton of research. let's talk about the dollars and cents. how much money as the port authority gone through and how much are they overbudget? >> originally in the first month after 9/11, when the port authority had a first financial where they put out, they said we are not going to have to pay the
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cost of this in rebuilding. and they said that we are going to get all of this money for the federal government. do not worry. ten years later, they had borrowed nearly a billion dollars. after th storm, they thought they were getting all this free money from washington and they didn't spend it very well. >> all right, why ishe port authority involved in the first place? are they supposed to run the bridges and tunnels and transportation? i don't get it. >> one of the things abouthe port authority is it is a bistate agency. new york and new jersey governors run. what they have done is use it as a slush fund, kind of off the books government
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voters don't really have any say in it. they collect all of their money. the tolls just went up and all of the hudson river crossing the po authority controls. it is now $13 to goacross the george washington bridge. these things, they are going to go up five years out of six. so you're going to have this never ending stream. gerri: or $10 gover bridge. >> yes, the lincoln tunnel is the same thing. it is baked into every product that isold and distributed in new york city. because all the trucks to bring the goods and raise the cost of living for everybody. gerri: we are looking at $19 billion in debt. some 260 million in airport fees, this doesn't even add up. >> the problem is the tolls in
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pairs in the tunnels to get into manhattan. that would be fine if people were paying for better commute. a better tunnel and an upade. but they are really paying for alof the debt. this was supposed to cost a little bit more than a billion dollars. it's going to cost $4 billion. you have a quadrupling accost red the cot is over a billion, not close to 4 billion. you see these massive costs. gerri: the payoff for consumers is not that great. there is no extra capacity. here's my question. we have a brand-new office building downtown, can anyone afford a? >> one of the biggest tenants are going to be government
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agencies. they have a guarantee that they would fill up with government agencies. that way it wouldn't fit in be. part of it is the way the port authority port authority runs itself. another point debacle makes in another report about the price that police officers are paid. they earn more than new york city police officers. %-city police oficers that are the highest-paid in the region. they are just kind of squandering the money because they are unelectable and sort of off the books. gerri: we just have no control over any of this, and that is what is so frustrating. the cool, i wanted to ask you about the track record. it's not pretty. there is a lot of money wasted. what does that say abo the money from superstorm sandy and how will be used? the governors have asked for more money than ever in dealing with the aftermath of the storm or method is the same thing all over again. what governor cuomo is doing is
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focusing on a big number. $42 billion that he wanted from washington. he really has no idea what the damages and how much it will cost to fix the system -- the signal system in the subways. they really won't know anyone have any idea any idea how much it will really need until later. gerri: it is a guessing game. >> exactly. the local and state politicians thk of this is free ney and they don't spend itwell. gerri: i saw the list that andrew cuomo requested and he wanted everything but a pony. [laughter] >> new york city is paying hundreds of dollars per night for empty hotel rooms. it's free money, as mhael said. that is the kind of attitude where nobody really tches.
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everybody assumed someone else is going to pay later. but we all payecause the cost of living is reflected in the way govnment wastes money. gerri: amen. thank you both for coming in. cool and michael, i appreciate your time. it's an important story. still to come, my "two cents more" and tablets topping christmas lists this year. but it's not all about the ipad. a look at all your options coming up next
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who was in washington? which of the governor's? mark dayton, jack, and the governors association. did anybody say we're not
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passing anything? >> there being cordial and respectful. of course, there were more concerned they could reach an agreement to avoid going off the cliff. >> governor how concerned are you? what does it mean for your state to go over the edge? do believe there will be some agreement by december 31st? >> it is hard to tell. there is a divide between the political parties and philosophies which we the house and administration and democrats is tough negotiation. but i did meet with my finance office in my budget director to prepare my state budget and we have to make our decision in the next
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month. it is estimated if we go over the fiscal cliff it will cost $1,307,000,000 we could lose education funds health and human services funds, not to mention the job loss. gerri: and 8,000 jobs with defense cuts. cost eight -- 100 million? you have had a surplus will this put you into the red? >> it could. we still look at the federal obama's health care plan with the budget will cost money then look of the mandates tied with the federal money. i asked the president, is
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you have these federal funds coming down to the states and the strings are still attached it does not give us leeway for our different circumstance -- circumstances other states different constitutions, laws, differe nt styles of living and different needs for the budget. give us some flexibility. gerri: i hope you were more upbeat with the fiscal cliff that use sound like many people big concerns the people can get together and find common ground. it is meaningful to est. like yours. we appreciate your time. gerri: it is not just politicians and ceos. even baseball players take note to. there all top 2% and major league baseball stars just
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signed a five-year contract with the atlanta braves worth more than $75 million. the $3 billion signing bonus something major league baseball rarely does outside the draft but has to be paid by december 31st. and he is paid one day later he has to pay one vendor $20,000 in taxes. his teammate signed an extension including the $1 billion signing bonus payable next week. it is like a tax revolt. if washington does not act major league owners will be forced to shell out money. the ipad maybe number one but consumers have more options with a tablet. and just how wasteful has indeed york been?
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gerri: city of detroit in dire financial straights. a councilwoman has the solution she says saying president obama owes the city another bailout because,ell, more than 75% of residents voted for him last %-do you agree? we asked the question, and 3% said yes. 97% said no. finally, there's one company who thinks the economy is doing a-okay. first, there was the $7 coee, and no starbucks offering a $450 gift card made of stainless steel and will be available with gold level membership for the rewards program with free drinks on your birthday and free item after 12 purchases. there's 5,000 cards. i want to make fun of the idea, but sales